Dear HR professionals and friends working in the diversity, equity, and inclusion field,
Many of us struggle with ideas for engaging our team. We need a plan to foster inclusive leadership and motivate our diverse workforce. I want to help!
Here is a workplace DEI calendar that gives you a year’s worth of ways to engage your diverse workforce in 2023.
Focus: Communicate your 12-month workplace plan. Signal to your employees the following:
- The WHAT of your workplace DEI strategy
- HOW that DEI strategy relates to their work and the overall mission of the organization
- WHY the organization thinks DEI is important
- What SUCCESS looks like
Activity Suggestions: Get planning and review Four Questions You Should Ask When Developing Your Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. This blog goes through a basic planning process that will help you focus as you plan for the upcoming year. I believe that simple strategic planning is better than a long, overly complex process that won’t stick.
Focus: February is Black History Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
Activity Suggestions: Highlight the achievements of prominent African American workers in your organization—support community organizations celebrating Black history month. Highlight the work of your Black ERG program, hosting an event or talkback session.
Focus: March is Women’s History Month, commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.
Activity Suggestions: Highlight the achievements of prominent women workers in your organization. Host focus groups to evaluate the experience of women in your workplace. Invite diverse women mentors and speakers to engage your team during this month.
Focus: Diversity is for everyone. April is a great time for a first-quarter check-in on your workplace DEI strategy.
Activity Suggestions: Promote your ERGs to drive engagement, encouraging people from different identity backgrounds to participate and learn from others. Host organizational-wide training with the focus that diversity is for everyone. April is also good for educational sessions such as speakers or organizational book reads.
Focus: Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month History has been celebrated since 1990. The U.S. government has designated May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States.
Activity Suggestions: Host trivia contests with your team so staff can learn about the diversity of Asian culture, history, and achievements while collaborating and competing with coworkers. Go on a field trip. Booking a flight to Asia may not be realistic, but you and your team can take engaging online tours of Asian museums, landscapes, and heritage sites.
Focus: June is Pride Month. June is the official beginning of summer and the time to celebrate Pride. The entire month is dedicated to uplifting the LGBTQ+ community and celebrating diversity, equality, and visibility.
Activity Suggestions: Spotlight the achievements of LGBTQ+ employees. Share information about the history of Pride Month. Support local LGBTQ+ community events or organizations. Make Pride swag/gear available to employees during June.
Focus: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is a well-known phrase from the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase gives three examples of the unalienable rights the Declaration says have been endowed to all humans by their Creator, which our United States government is created to protect. As we celebrate American independence in July, we should explore what this concept means to the American-based workforce.
Activity Suggestions: Discuss the Great American Melting Pot concept with your team and how it relates to your current workplace DEI strategy.
- Do you think the melting pot concept aligns with the best practices of a culturally competent team?
- How do we value differences but work toward a healthy, common workplace culture?
- What is cultural competency?
Note that the previous month, June is Immigrant Heritage Month (formerly Refugee Awareness Month).
Focus: May is officially marked as Military Appreciation Month, and November is National Veterans and Military Families Month, so you have your pick of when to honor veterans.
Celebrating veterans in August allows you to focus on this broad demographic without diminishing the importance of other heritage month plans. Recognition and appreciation of veterans can occur on any day. There doesn’t need to be an official holiday for employers to show employees that they recognize their sacrifice and service.
Activity Suggestions: Hire a vet to come to share with your group. HR departments can partner with the local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is an agency that works to ensure employer support of members of the workforce who are also members of the Guard or Reserve.
Focus: National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) takes place September 15 to October 15 every year as a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latinx community.
Activity Suggestions: Host lunch and learns with Hispanic employees from different cultures to highlight the diversity of the “Hispanic” identity group. Provide Incentives for Employees to Support Latinx-Owned Businesses. Host a Panel of Hispanic Executives to share insights about their career journeys. Organize Latinx happy hours for the team featuring cultural social elements from various Hispanic groups.
Focus: National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Activity Suggestions: Focus on making your workplace inclusive and create awareness that disability identity is part of the equity equation. A few suggestions:
- Audit workspaces and your online tools for accessibility.
- Having a clear process for seeking accommodations in the workplace, articulating that process on your website and in all relevant materials
- Collecting voluntary, anonymous disability demographic data from your members
- Integrating disability into your diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals
- Advocating for and advancing disability diversity, equity, and inclusion all year round
- Forming a disability rights or disability diversity, equity, and inclusion committee
Focus: November is National Native American Heritage Month. As early as 1916, when New York became the first state to declare an “American Indian Day,” efforts have been underway to acknowledge the many contributions and achievements of Native peoples.
Activity Suggestion: Recognizing the important contributions of Native Americans and other indigenous groups may be a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving in the office in a culturally competent way. The GOOD GOOD GOOD media company published 22 Ways to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month. Check it out.
Focus: Wrap-Up: Look at what we did together. Highlight your DEI successes.
Activity Suggestion: Host a year-end celebration for the organization or bring together your company ERGs to discuss your DEI accomplishments for the year.
December is a great time to celebrate your wins and discuss your goals for the upcoming year. You might even want to tie in a few different cultural holiday traditions. End your strategic planning on a high note.
This is the year to promote DEI in the workplace
Glen is available as a speaker, emcee, or trainer for any of your upcoming DEI events. Our team is here to assist you in achieving your workplace goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out. Inclusive leadership doesn’t have to be scary, boring, or stressful. Contact Glen and see how he and his team can assist you.Contact Glen